Pet snakes gain popularity in Xiamen as Year of the Snake nears

Updated: 2012-12-26
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As Year of the Snake approaches,  the demand for snake products heats up in Xiamen (Left: A pet snake Right: A gold snake)
As 2013, which will be the year of the snake according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, approaches, the demand for snake products also heats up in Xiamen in advance with many already beginning to consult on and purchase snake commodities.

An owner of a reptile pet store in the city’s Dianqian area told a reporter that he had recently received a lot of customers consulting the prices of pet snakes thanks to the approaching snake year.

"It is the majority of customers' only request now, while the peak buying period is expected to appear in March next year, when the snake year officially begins,” said the owner Mr. Sha, who also runs an online stores to sell snake products.

The prices for pet snakes range from 300 yuan to 2,000 yuan in Mr. Sha’s store due to different species.

Mr. Sha said a pet snake is usually very docile, and will not bite people or cause cleaning problems. And it’s easy to maintain, just feed a mouse a week, which cost around 20 yuan a month, much cheaper than keeping a cat or a dog.

Besides pet snakes, other snake-themed products such as heating lamps, toys or snake gold are also seeing good sales.
Why is each year in Chinese calendar named after an animal?

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: "This is the animal that hides in your heart." (Source: wiki.answers.com
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